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treehugger
Y'know, it's sort of strange, but I do believe some things in the bible are true but are grossly misinterpreted. I have my own interpretations of such things as "sin", "heaven", "hell", "satan", "purgatory" that are pretty much COMPLETELY different from conventional interpretations. So much so that I am even hesitant to share them with anybody.

I guess everybody has their own spirituality. smile.gif I don't push mine on anybody, and I don't appreciate others pushing theirs on me. I am perfectly willing to LISTEN with an open mind. I only ask the same of others.

doodlebug
OOH! I'm so glad to see this thread again! I wasn't sure whether or not to resurrect it (no pun intended), because of the other thread, but the other one is not really the flavour I'm looking for....

QUOTE(doodlebug @ Aug 29 2006, 04:24 PM) *
I haven't come to terms with death and dying either. I'm struggling with my fear that there's nothing after this life. I don't want it to just end! At the same time, I think, well, maybe I'm depending on the idea of a next life as a salve to my fears of really living this one.


Feels egotistical to quote myself, but....WOW! How amazing to even find this quote! For those who don't know, about five months after I made that post, I almost DID die! And seriously, ever since then, I've been completely throwing myself into living - really living.

It's really strange, but when I was in the hospital, trying not to die, it never occured to me once - not once - to call on god or a higher power or any kind of supernatural entity to help me. I put all my faith in medical science, and my own will to live, to save me. And since then, I've become really comfortable calling myself agnostic. I don't know if I am agnostic, but I'm not really worried anymore about whether or not there is a god, or about what might or might not come after this life. It's like suddenly I'm not afraid of dying anymore - I'm afraid of dying without having lived the life I want to live.

Does that make any sense? I'm not trying to come down on religion or spirituality, but man, what a wake up call I had.

The thing is, I still consider myself a very spiritual person. I feel so fucking ALIVE these days. I feel like every atom in my being is vibrating with life. I feel connected with everything. I feel equal to everyone. I feel so happy and eager to embrace the day. And I'm hardly afraid to do anything anymore - my confidence in myself has grown eight million percent. Even though I am living a lifestyle that is kind of "regressive" for my supposed age (working 2 low-paying jobs for their flexibility and making music 'round the clock), I am finally living the life I WISHED I was living when I was still in my early twenties, but didn't have the guts to go after. And I've got music....do I ever have music.

Music, I think, has become my spirituality. I play guitar and sing, and write songs, and the songwriting has only come since nearly dying. In fact, the way I sing has only come since nearly dying. (Guitar is more a technical skill for me, that I only really started learning because I want to sing, but I am definitely becoming more "one" with the guitar - sometimes I can't keep the rhythm on the guitar if I'm not singing!) When I sing and play, I feel....I don't know how to explain this, but I definitely feel something that is not of this world. It's like being in a hypnotic trance. I totally lose myself, just like I hear about some people losing themselves in a "godly" experience. And I start channeling all this music, and my voice is just...wide open. Writing music - holy crap, I never thought that would happen, and I have no idea where it comes from, but it's just there. It's always there, in my head. It's like all these years, I've been looking for something to fill me up, and now I am completely filled up with music. I am filled with music when I walk around town, I am filled with it when I'm working - it even permeates my dreams. Often I don't even listen to music, because I'm so filled up with it already. I can't stop the music. My entire being is made of music.

Does this make any sense at all? I don't know where I'm going with this. I just had to post it.
pherber
*bump*


for crazyoldcatlady. wink.gif
LoveMyPugs
I've met this amazing guy at my work named Luke. We've been working on a project together. One day we got on the topic of religion. I'm Catholic and he's Baptist. I told him that I love being religious. I've always felt a connection with God. I told him I hate Catholicism. I told him I always have guilt. I feel that I'm disappointing God. I worry and I never feel accepted at my Catholic church. I told him I have questions. I told him some. He told me what he believes. He follows the Bible very closely. I told him in the eight years of Catholic school I went to I never once cracked a Bible. He asked me if I thought that was strange. I told him yes. He told me to get my Bible out and read a few chapters he recommended. I couldn't even find my Bible so I went and bought one. I started reading The New Testament. Him and I have been talking daily about God, Jesus, The Bible, religions in general. I feel very inspired by him. He shared with me that his wife got pregnant before they were married. That he was afraid of telling her father who was the dean at the Bible College he was attending. He said her family was shockingly very supportive. I’ve never met a Catholic who would share their personal stories, especially anything that is considered “sinful” with another person in order to share with and inspire them. I told him if that happened to me my family wouldn't have been supportive. I told him we've had a lot of problems, my family and I. I told him I've always been looking for something in my life, that I have a huge void in my life that Mr. Pugs has always tried to fill. I told him I've tried to fill that void with God but my church, being the fascists they are have made that impossible. He suggested I try his church. He said that if I called his cell phone before I arrive that he and his wife will sit with me. They will introduce me to everyone. I thought this was so kind and considerate. They really want me to come and want me to feel welcomed. He told me about when he was saved and baptized. He seems so happy and content in life even though he's had a rough life. He says he never worries because he knows God will help him through any obstacle. I've never met someone like him. I've felt different since talking to him, calmer and not so scared and sad about everything. I'm thinking I'm going to try his church. I'm thinking I might try to make some changes in my life. Do I sound like some bible thumping lunatic? Mr. Pugs says no. He's encouraging and says if it feels good and right to try it. He says just don't drink the kool aid. laugh.gif Am I crazy? I'm nervous but this feels really special. Luke thinks I'm on the road to salvation and that I should just trust my instinct and not be afraid. I'm not afraid but anxious and I feel like I'm waiting to hear the bad news. I'm expecting this church/religion to let me down like the Catholic Church has. Anyone have any feelings on this? Be gentle please…
kittenb
pugs - overall it seems that you have been going through a lot of changes and self-evaluations about your life, what you want from it and where you want it to go. It makes sense to me that you are also looking at your belief system. Those of us who have belief in the Great Big Something in the Sky should examine our views once in awhile and make sure that they still hopld up.

Having been raised Catholic, I am not suprised that you've never read the Bible. I never did. It seems to be standard practice for Average Catholic to only read what we are told to read when we are told to read it (speaking of the Bible, not other books where I never let anyone tell me what to read.) Actually, I've been noticing that more White Catholics do not spend a lot of time in independent Bible studies. I've learned from my friends of color that were raised Catholics that it is inconcievable that I wasn't encouraged to read the Bible. Not sure what that means, but it means something.

Anyway, look for your answers. If that means finding a church that you are happy with, go for it. You are smart enough to know what is right for you.

QUOTE
Do I sound like some bible thumping lunatic?
Not at all. It sounds like you have questions and are finding answers.
beck
i think your church should make you feel closer to God and the spiritual experience you are craving, and it doesn't sound like your current one is doing that. so i'd say go for it too! i agree with kitten, there is a lot to be gained from evaluating the belief system you are raised with (for me it was the same but the opposite way round, in that i was raised evangelical and ended up part of the catholic church!)
konphusion26
Pugs my deary, so much i want to say right now!! WHAT BAD NEWS are you waiting to hear exactly? LOL Sounds like you are at a point in your life where most people eventually get to. Looking for something to fill the void. Like Kitten said, you've got questions, and you need answers. I was there a few years ago, and Christ changed my life. I don't think you sound like a bible thumper at all. I think it is so WONDERFUL that you are exploring to find the answers you seek. Remember though, no one on this earth will ever have all the answers - Only God Does. People can let you down, for sure. I'm sorry to hear that your previous religious experiences have not been fulfilling.

One thing I will suggest is, go into the church with your mind set on expanding your personal "relationship" with God/Christ, not just a "religious" experience, because every church is different in the way they do things. I have no idea how the Baptist church does things, I go to a non-denominational Christian church. I've honestly never really gotten into or know anything about any of the denominations out there.

Also, alot of churches teach out of the King James version of the bible -- I can't understand that stuff, most people I know can't!! That's probably the one you have too. The New International Version bible is awesome and easy to comprehend. This is a good version to study from. I've learned that whatever the minister teaches during service to go home and re-read it for yourself. I have some fantastic online study resources that I use, if you'd like some. Take good notes in church girlie! LOL

I'm all excited for you chica LOL Your post really touched my heart. I'm not just saying that because I want you to "convert" to Christianity HAHA.... (people crack me up with that). It's not a brand name, its supposed to be a way of life, a relationship with our Creator, and salvation, well you'll find out more about it at church I'm sure biggrin.gif

**This is great Pugs! Let us know how it goes. PM me if you want to talk!!!! I love this stuff** Smooches hun!
LoveMyPugs
So I must say that I had some sort of "experience" yesterday. I went to this new Baptist church my friend attends for the first time. It was WON...DER...FUL!!! The pastor was so passionate. Towards the end I had tears in my eyes. Everyone around me was so friendly and I've never felt so close to people I just met in my entire life. I've never felt so good about a church service in my whole life. I felt God in my soul again for the first time since I was 10 years old. I hugged Luke the guy I work with who invited me, I hugged his wife and I talked to the pastor for 45 minutes in the parking lot. They have Bible study on Wednesday nights and I'm going. I had plans to go to a party and drink and I don't want to go. I want to go back to this church. I've haven't felt this blessed and in touch with God in so long. I'm so glad I listened to Luke, Mr. Pugs and all of you. I think this is some sort of awakening in me. It feels wonderful. I'm glad God gave me the courage to try this new church. I feel like I'm seeing the world in a new light. Yesterday was one of the greatest days of life. Thanks to you all.
konphusion26
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ Aug 11 2008, 08:19 AM) *
So I must say that I had some sort of "experience" yesterday. I went to this new Baptist church my friend attends for the first time. It was WON...DER...FUL!!! The pastor was so passionate. Towards the end I had tears in my eyes. Everyone around me was so friendly and I've never felt so close to people I just met in my entire life. I've never felt so good about a church service in my whole life. I felt God in my soul again for the first time since I was 10 years old. I hugged Luke the guy I work with who invited me, I hugged his wife and I talked to the pastor for 45 minutes in the parking lot. They have Bible study on Wednesday nights and I'm going. I had plans to go to a party and drink and I don't want to go. I want to go back to this church. I've haven't felt this blessed and in touch with God in so long. I'm so glad I listened to Luke, Mr. Pugs and all of you. I think this is some sort of awakening in me. It feels wonderful. I'm glad God gave me the courage to try this new church. I feel like I'm seeing the world in a new light. Yesterday was one of the greatest days of life. Thanks to you all.


YAYYYYYYYYY That is awesome! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself! I have been sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear how it went LOL God is amazing.
thirtiesgirl
I just noticed this thread and thought I'd toss my 2 cents in.

I'm a secular humanist, which means I don't believe in any supernatural forces, supreme being, or spirituality. I believe in the power of people. *I* am the ultimate power in my universe, and every week I "pray to the church of me" when I visit my therapist. I don't have anyone to blame but myself if I make a bad choice, and through therapy, I examine my choices, why I've made them, and what experiences in my life might have lead me to make that decision at that time.

I was raised in a stiflingly religious household. My mom is what I'd call 'generally' a fundamentalist christian. She never belonged to one particular church (although we attended a methodist church when I was a kid), and her stiflingly moralistic worldview was shaped by the decades she grew up in (the '40s and '50s), more than any particularly religious teachings. She's incredibly racist, homophobic, and fearful of so many things that other people have managed to accept and come to terms with (it doesn't help that she also has borderline personality disorder). Point being, her answer to a lot of the tough questions I used to ask her in my younger days (like "why do you think gay people are bad, mom?") has always been "because it says so in the bible." No thought put into her answer, no actual research done. Just blind belief because that's how she was taught.

I went to a private christian school for elementary and junior high. They didn't have a high school, or I would have attended that, too. In public high school, trying to find some kind of social life, I joined a baptist church youth group. The dinky methodist church I'd been attending didn't have any kind of youth functions, so it was time to move on. I was quite active in the youth group until I started noticing the hypocrisy. I overheard some girls complaining that their church boyfriends had taken them to an R rated movie with 'graphic' sex scenes, which they found offensive. And yet, these were the same girls who would wear the skimpiest 'look-at-me' bikinis any time we had a pool party at someone's house. It didn't add up.

Then the church started having youth seminars about the 'evils of rock music,' typically playing heavy metal songs backwards to 'reveal the satanic messages.' It was when they started discussing Depeche Mode and the 'evil, suggestive nature' of songs like Master & Servant that I'd finally had enough. (Not to mention, I was a big Depeche Mode fan at the time.) I stopped attending the youth group, started questioning my beliefs, and by the time I was in college, I realized that I really didn't believe in any kind of 'supreme being' and the only choices I trusted were my own.

Now, I know not every religious person is a judgmental, controlling hypocrite, and not all churches do ridiculous crap like play Led Zeppelin records backwards in an attempt to stop people from listening to any kind of subversive/secular music. But I grew up with those kinds of experiences in my churchified lifestyle, and it's not something I'd ever want to repeat.

I've tried other religions, including buddhism and wicca. But it's the organization that I have problems with, particularly when it comes to wicca. I mean, a bunch of people sitting around naked or half clothed in a field at midnight in November, thinking they're going to see a magic fairy? Please. It just makes me giggle. Which they really don't like you to do during the ceremony. (Apologies to any wiccans on the forum, but seriously, y'all just give me the giggles.) I've also learned that I'm just not a spiritual person. I can't believe in something I can't see or experience, and that's not going to change for me.

I do miss the sense of ceremony and community that often accompanies organized religion, but it's something I try to add to my life in other ways, through connections with friends, gatherings, etc.

...Anyway, apologies again if I've offended anyone, which wasn't my intent. I just thought I'd share my experience and how I've reached the conclusions I've reached and why I made the decisions I've made. Power to the people.
LoveMyPugs
thirtiesgirl - i just have to say that i don't feel like your post below added anything at all to the discussion at hand but whatever. you believe and feel what you believe and feel so follow your own path in life.

back to the topic at hand...

i love this church i'm attending. i've jumped in with both feet. i want to be there all the time. i really am a changed, saved person. the people are wonderful at this church and i've never felt so accepted. i'm working towards living a more christian life. i'm not going to go into details because after thirtiesgirl's post i feel like if i post what's really going on in my life that i'll get a lot of crap for it and i don't feel like defending my newly discovered beliefs and desires.

just wanted to let you know konphusion26, kittenb, and beck that things are gong wonderfully. i've even gotten mr. pugs to go with me once and he actually liked the minister. he's going to go again this weekend. the minister asked me to testify this weekend and share my story with others in the church. i'm making plans to be baptized and even trying to get some informaiton on mr. pugs and i getting married there in the near future. i've never been so happy. i know i haven't been on bust nearly as much as i used to be but i've just had so many things going on in my mind and life right now. i really just wanted to thank you all for your support.

thanks again,

love you all...pugs
Queen Bull
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ Aug 22 2008, 09:04 AM) *
thirtiesgirl - i just have to say that i don't feel like your post below added anything at all to the discussion at hand but whatever. you believe and feel what you believe and feel so follow your own path in life.

back to the topic at hand...

i love this church i'm attending. i've jumped in with both feet. i want to be there all the time. i really am a changed, saved person. the people are wonderful at this church and i've never felt so accepted. i'm working towards living a more christian life. i'm not going to go into details because after thirtiesgirl's post i feel like if i post what's really going on in my life that i'll get a lot of crap for it and i don't feel like defending my newly discovered beliefs and desires.

just wanted to let you know konphusion26, kittenb, and beck that things are gong wonderfully. i've even gotten mr. pugs to go with me once and he actually liked the minister. he's going to go again this weekend. the minister asked me to testify this weekend and share my story with others in the church. i'm making plans to be baptized and even trying to get some informaiton on mr. pugs and i getting married there in the near future. i've never been so happy. i know i haven't been on bust nearly as much as i used to be but i've just had so many things going on in my mind and life right now. i really just wanted to thank you all for your support.

thanks again,

love you all...pugs


*pugs* im super glad you found a church that you like and feel connected too. I have always been of the belief that in order to 'find' the right church for you, you just have to let it come to you. it sounds like God delivered Luke to help you find him, and im so happy for you. I personally am still on that search, and i can only hope for an experience like yours.

<3's

*hugs to all*
LoveMyPugs
QUOTE(Queen Bull @ Aug 22 2008, 11:57 AM) *
*pugs* im super glad you found a church that you like and feel connected too. I have always been of the belief that in order to 'find' the right church for you, you just have to let it come to you. it sounds like God delivered Luke to help you find him, and im so happy for you. I personally am still on that search, and i can only hope for an experience like yours.

<3's

*hugs to all*


QueenBull - I had almost convinced myself that God didn't exist. That is, until I went to my first service at this new church. The pastor brought me to tears. I was saved that day two weeks ago. My life is changed. I know if you trust in God and pray to him and know that he WILL lead you to the right church. I have to say that I was always looking for a church that worked with my life and I think I was wrong in that way of thinking. As a Christian I have to work my life around God. It's not about the church although, I have to admit I love, love, love my new church. I want to be there all the time and I would if there was service daily but unfortunately there isn't.
Queen Bull
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ Aug 22 2008, 12:40 PM) *
QueenBull - I had almost convinced myself that God didn't exist. That is, until I went to my first service at this new church. The pastor brought me to tears. I was saved that day two weeks ago. My life is changed. I know if you trust in God and pray to him and know that he WILL lead you to the right church. I have to say that I was always looking for a church that worked with my life and I think I was wrong in that way of thinking. As a Christian I have to work my life around God. It's not about the church although, I have to admit I love, love, love my new church. I want to be there all the time and I would if there was service daily but unfortunately there isn't.

thanks for your kind words. smile.gif <3's
LoveMyPugs
QUOTE(Queen Bull @ Aug 22 2008, 12:48 PM) *
thanks for your kind words. smile.gif <3's


QueenBull - I will pray for you. If you PM me your name I will add you to the prayer list at my church. Have you tried a Baptist church? I'm not trying to push one religion on you but I just can't say enough about the place I'm going. I would climb up on my desk and shout how wonderful I feel in my heart. The peace, comfort and love I feel inside. It's overwhelming. Try a local baptist church if you want. I'll pray that God blesses you with loving people like he did me.

((((QueenBull hugs)))))
konphusion26
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ Aug 22 2008, 09:04 AM) *
thirtiesgirl - i just have to say that i don't feel like your post below added anything at all to the discussion at hand but whatever. you believe and feel what you believe and feel so follow your own path in life.

back to the topic at hand...

i love this church i'm attending. i've jumped in with both feet. i want to be there all the time. i really am a changed, saved person. the people are wonderful at this church and i've never felt so accepted. i'm working towards living a more christian life. i'm not going to go into details because after thirtiesgirl's post i feel like if i post what's really going on in my life that i'll get a lot of crap for it and i don't feel like defending my newly discovered beliefs and desires.

just wanted to let you know konphusion26, kittenb, and beck that things are gong wonderfully. i've even gotten mr. pugs to go with me once and he actually liked the minister. he's going to go again this weekend. the minister asked me to testify this weekend and share my story with others in the church. i'm making plans to be baptized and even trying to get some informaiton on mr. pugs and i getting married there in the near future. i've never been so happy. i know i haven't been on bust nearly as much as i used to be but i've just had so many things going on in my mind and life right now. i really just wanted to thank you all for your support.

thanks again,

love you all...pugs


HEYYYYY!!! I hadn't checked this thread in a while. I am so proud of you and happy for you Pugs and Mr. Pugs as well. God can do amazing things if you just let Him in. I'm glad that you found a place to worship that you feel at home in! That's awesome.

Thirtiesgirl, I don't have a problem with you at all. But, as a person of faith, I have a problem with people trying to live by their own "power". There is no real power without God. I don't really understand any "faith" or "religion" that boasts on praying to themselves or praying to anything other than the living God. I just can't wrap my mind around that. I can, however, understand reflecting on your choices and why you've made them. We should all do that! But leaving God out of the equation just because there's no "evidence" that He exists is dangerous. There's plenty of evidence out here. Beginning with you and I. ANYWAY I wont get on that soapbox today. It would probably be a pointless and endless argument that I've gotten into so many times. Folks will continue to believe what they want. And I will continue to believe in the Lord. There's no convincing me otherwise.

You ladies have a lovely day. Pugs, stay strong - Queen Bull, I too will pray for you and hope that you find what you need!! Best of luck to you all!! SMOOCHEz babes.
pixiedust
*waves to konfusion* So this is where you moved to after the Too Much Religion thread! I might have to start coming in here.

I got a new devotional Bible. I've been reading it in the mornings while my computer warms up at work. I've discovered that for someone that was raised in church I am horribly ignorant of a lot of things. I've been discussing all the new things I'm learning with Mr. Pixie. I'll be glad when I am "out of Eqypt" though! I never realized that all the dimensions for the ark of the covenant and the temple were in the Bible...in triplicate! But I feel good that i am finally taking the time out of each day to learn more and grow more. I feel closer to God now than i have in a very long time.
konphusion26
QUOTE(pixiedust @ Aug 22 2008, 03:08 PM) *
*waves to konfusion* So this is where you moved to after the Too Much Religion thread! I might have to start coming in here.

I got a new devotional Bible. I've been reading it in the mornings while my computer warms up at work. I've discovered that for someone that was raised in church I am horribly ignorant of a lot of things. I've been discussing all the new things I'm learning with Mr. Pixie. I'll be glad when I am "out of Eqypt" though! I never realized that all the dimensions for the ark of the covenant and the temple were in the Bible...in triplicate! But I feel good that i am finally taking the time out of each day to learn more and grow more. I feel closer to God now than i have in a very long time.

(((Heyyy Pixie)))! Yeah I guess I was trying to hard in the other thread, trying to show that all Christians aren't the same... LOL I guess my message wasn't welcome. HAHAH. Nah most of the girls were great. A lil opposition is healthy for strengthening your faith. I'm glad you're learning more and more! I've read through the entire bible once and every time I go back and read, I learn something new. Some things I just get confused about, but thank God for good knowledgeable friends and a knowledgeable husband. Good luck on your journey!! My inbox is open and so is my heart wink.gif Hit me up anytime. Continued blessings!
thirtiesgirl
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ Aug 22 2008, 06:04 AM) *
thirtiesgirl - i just have to say that i don't feel like your post below added anything at all to the discussion at hand but whatever. you believe and feel what you believe and feel so follow your own path in life.

I do, but thanks for the 'permission.' If I'm not mistaken, this is a thread about one's beliefs and how they relate to or are shaped by religion. Even though I'm not a religious person now, my personal beliefs have a lot to do with my religious upbringing and experiences with organized religion. In other words, my post was about how religion shaped my current set of beliefs. As are many of the other posts I've read in this thread. The only difference is, I'm not religious. And that, I believe, is why you didn't like it. If you're going to criticize, I prefer honest criticism. Think about it and get real.
erinjane
I have to agree with thirtiesgirl. I only lurk in this thread but I do because I'm curious about what other people believe. It seems to me her post fit in perfectly with the thread. And I'm gonna copy tesao and re-post this:

"This thread is for anyone who wants to talk about god/dess, the universe, or whatever. There are no restrictions on which belief systems are acceptable or unacceptable in this thread, but since we are talking about the spirit, everyone is asked to be RESPECTFUL in our discussions. This is a pro-spirituality thread, and I ask that everyone who wants to participate understand and honour that. Please do not denigrate the beliefs of other. Stay mindful that your truth is not the absolute truth for everyone (nor does it have to be)."

"...no discussion or arguing here. that is the purpose of the "too much religion for me" thread." (I didn't feel thirtiesgirl post was discussion or arguing, just stating her belief system)

Having said that I guess I should make an actual post too.

I wasn't raised in any kind of a religious household at all. My mom considers herself Christian in terms of the teachings in the bible, but she doesn't believe that Jesus was the messiah, and never really discussed religion when we grew up. My dad on the other hand is flat out Atheist. He doesn't believe in anything and has no problem with that whatsoever. We're a very liberal family and have discussions on all sorts of topics so religion was never off the table. My younger brother identifies as Christian, my older brother is atheist like my dad, and I'm agnostic.

Even though I wasn't raised in a religious household I found myself being curious about religion from an early age. When I was 7 or 8 I went to church for a few months with a friends family. I have no idea now what prompted me to want to go, but I do know it was my decision. I was curious, but I grew bored with it pretty fast and decided to stop going before long.

After that I don't remember being concerned with any type of religion until my mid teens. I don't know why I again felt the need to turn to something spiritual or religious but I started doing a little bit of research on different world religions. Nothing I came across seemed to fit in with what I was thinking though. I began to be very interested in Paganism for a few years but not in any organized way. I liked reading books and exploring my own personal philosophies on my spirituality and personal power but I never really went beyond that. By the time I was 18 I had lost interest in paganism as well.

But I've still always been interested in exploring other religions. In my first year of university I took a World Religions course that I really enjoyed but that's when I realized that I enjoyed the scholarly side of religion more than the application of it.

Since then I've realized that I'm agnostic myself, but I would also say strongly spiritual. However I feel that my spirituality comes from my understanding of myself and my connection to the world around me, rather than from a 'higher being'. At the same time though, I like to think that whatever anyone believes is true. I know it's true to them, just as true as my belief is true to me that there is no god, but rather the energy of ourselves and the world around us. I suppose that's more of a naturalist view. And this is the view I'm definitely most comfortable with in all my exploration of religion. I really take comfort in the belief that we are born of the earth and when we die we go back to the earth. If there's anything I believe in, it's mother nature.
zoya
thirtiesgirl and erinjane, you took the words right out of my mouth. I was going to come and post that I don't agree with pugs that it didn't add to the discussion at hand. I think it completely added to the discussion at hand, because as erinjane posted (and tesao) the stated purpose of this thread is to share and discuss beliefs with each other - and how we got to our current beliefs - in a respectful place.

QUOTE(konphusion26 @ Aug 22 2008, 11:57 AM) *
Folks will continue to believe what they want. And I will continue to believe in the Lord. There's no convincing me otherwise.


Amen sistah. I may not believe what you'd like me to believe, (and there ain't no converting me... smile.gif ) but I respect the hell out of you for respecting my right to my beliefs, and I will back you 100% in you believing what you believe. Each person's life is their own.

I think that being exclusionary is counterproductive to any spiritual discussion.
erinjane
I totally agree about respecting each others beliefs. I don't think anyone is in this thread to change anyone's mind.

After I posted I went back and read the whole thread. I didn't realized I'd posted in it two years ago just after my Grandma passed away. I think I've come to terms with a lot of things since I posted. Unlike Doodle, I didn't almost die but I had to confront a lot of personal issues and family issues and doodle's post from March really struck a cord with me.

QUOTE(doodlebug @ Mar 29 2008, 09:18 PM) *
I don't know if I am agnostic, but I'm not really worried anymore about whether or not there is a god, or about what might or might not come after this life. It's like suddenly I'm not afraid of dying anymore - I'm afraid of dying without having lived the life I want to live.

The thing is, I still consider myself a very spiritual person. I feel so fucking ALIVE these days. I feel like every atom in my being is vibrating with life. I feel connected with everything. I feel equal to everyone. I feel so happy and eager to embrace the day. And I'm hardly afraid to do anything anymore - my confidence in myself has grown eight million percent.


This kind of sums up how I feel. Honestly, it's thinking like this that makes me floss my teeth every night and try and get into shape and try and do everything that I want to do. I have on life to live, one body to take care of, and I want to be the best I can be for myself. I've been living like that for the last 7 or 8 months and I've never felt happier. I feel fulfilled and just happy to get up every day and try something new. I like what you said about your confidence growing too. I really push myself to try things that scare me now and I know that it really doesn't matter what other people think. It's extremely liberating.
treehugger
I am loving this discussion.

I don't know what I would consider myself, but I DO consider myself a spiritual person. I guess I'd be closer to a Buddhist, than anything else. But....I swing loose.

I respect all people's beliefs, as long as they don't judge me.

ThirtiesGirl, you have my admiration...your post hit it on the head.
thirtiesgirl
QUOTE(treehugger @ Aug 23 2008, 05:19 PM) *
I am loving this discussion.

I don't know what I would consider myself, but I DO consider myself a spiritual person. I guess I'd be closer to a Buddhist, than anything else. But....I swing loose.

I respect all people's beliefs, as long as they don't judge me.

ThirtiesGirl, you have my admiration...your post hit it on the head.

Well, shucks. Thanks. *blush* I think open discussion is what can make an internet forum a vibrant place. A little disagreement never hurt anyone, as long as we share a healthy exchange of opinions. And honesty. I'm all for open, honest communication.
erinjane
Pugs, how are things going? I was enjoying reading about your experience but it seems like the thread died.
konphusion26
QUOTE(erinjane @ Aug 28 2008, 12:32 PM) *
Pugs, how are things going? I was enjoying reading about your experience but it seems like the thread died.


Yes, I heard the crickets chirping LOL Where did everybody go??? I'd love to hear more from Pugs!
LoveMyPugs
well, i've pretty much jumped in with both feet. i'm getting baptized this Sunday. Mr. Pug's dad is a Baptist as well and was baptized last year and he is the most excited of everyone other then those at my church that i'm being baptized. Mr. pug, his dad, his mom, my mom, my dad and sister are all coming to see and we are all going out to eat afterwards. the pastor is coming over tonight to spend time with mr. pugs and me. mr. pugs has some spiritual questions to ask him that I just don't know the answers to.

of course the pastor said he won't marry us because i'm saved and mr. pugs is not and since we are unequally yoked he can't in good faith marry us. it's of course an issue that we live together and aren't married but we can only do so much at the present time and i'm not giving up on mr. pugs that he may not one day be saved. i know living and sleeping together before marriage is wrong and against the teachings of God but it's my life and my choices. i'm human and i'm weak. i'm not going to move out when we might just as well be married in six months or a year. we can't afford that.

as far as getting married and him not being saved i love him and i'm not just going to give up 12 years with him because he didn't have the same religious experience that i had. he comes to church with me most of the time and always asks questions when i get home from a service he didn't attend. i see hints of faith in his questions and the way he watches the pastor when he speaks.

i signed up for these bible study courses the church gives starting in September. I go on Sunday mornings for Sunday school and the service then i come back Sunday night for the night service. I've also been going on Wednesdays. I love the Wednesday service. Sometimes on Sunday when I think that I won't get to go back to church until the next sunday it seems so far away and I feel so in touch with God when I'm at church so I like that this church has a service on Wednesdays in the middle of the week.

i've been praying a lot for all different things. i find that i'm a selfish prayer. i want things for myself. i'm trying to stop this. i have a lot and i'm grateful and blessed. others need more and have less then myself so i'm trying to come to God with a less selfish attitude.

I think my family thinks this is a phase and it's going to blow over. my mom and dad think this baptisim thing is out there. especially since in their eyes i was already baptized when i was a baby. i tried to explain to them that this church doesn't recognize infant baptisim. my dad kinda rolled his eyes. well, whatever, i pray for my parents. they used to believe in God but all the crap their old church put them through it's a wonder they have any faith left at all. I'm hoping they both really enjoy this church i'm bringing them to this weekend. i'd love to see them get back in touch with their spirituality. especially my dad, i think he could use God in his life.

that's about it. praying, reading my bible, going to church and getting baptized this weekend. exciting, powerful and enlightening.

thanks for asking.

God Bless!!!
LoveMyPugs
nevermind
roseviolet
LMP, just have a few curious questions for you here. smile.gif How many other churches did you visit in the year or two before you found this Baptist church? Have you been "shopping around" for a while? Which denominations did you check out? My questions are not an attack on you at all. I'm merely curious ... especially since my mom recently spent a few years looking for a new church family.

What is it exactly about the Baptist church that the other people in your life don't like? Does it have anything to do with the beliefs and practises of the church itself? Or is it simply that it's different than what they were raised in? It's not as if the Baptists are some freaky cult, so I can't help but suspect that it's the latter. Some people think that different is automatically bad - especially when it comes to spirituality. Just think about how skittish people can be about trying something as simple as a new, exotic food. There are a lot of Americans who aren't willing to eat, say, Indian food because they think it's so different from what they've always known. If so many people refuse to try a simple korma, how can they open their mind enough to be open to other faiths? I suspect you'll have to explain to them that one church is not inherently better or worse than the other. Their different traditions simply feed different spiritual needs.

Frankly, LMP, I find it very strange that you're asking us to tell you how to "think [...] for yourself". Sounds rather contradictory, but I think I understand what you're wanting: support & permission to follow your heart. It seems to me that the things that you are saying you want for your life are VERY important, basic, fundamental needs for you. You aren't saying that you want to go to the beach for vacation while he wants to go to the mountains. Instead, you are laying out the most basic and important elements of you life - the fundamental structure & needs of your spirit. You want marriage, children, religion. Forget about the resentment he may feel. What about the resentment you already feel? What's so wrong with following your heart and living the life you feel called to live? Isn't that what we're all supposed to do? Isn't that what true happiness is all about?


ETA: I just noticed that LMP deleted the post I'm responding to, but I think I'll keep this here anyway.
LoveMyPugs
QUOTE
Frankly, LMP, I find it very strange that you're asking us to tell you how to "think [...] for yourself". Sounds rather contradictory, but I think I understand what you're wanting: support & permission to follow your heart.


As I typed that I was thinking the same thing. smile.gif

QUOTE
It seems to me that the things that you are saying you want for your life are VERY important, basic, fundamental needs for you. You aren't saying that you want to go to the beach for vacation while he wants to go to the mountains. Instead, you are laying out the most basic and important elements of you life - the fundamental structure & needs of your spirit. You want marriage, children, religion. Forget about the resentment he may feel. What about the resentment you already feel? What's so wrong with following your heart and living the life you feel called to live? Isn't that what we're all supposed to do? Isn't that what true happiness is all about?


I guess I feel that because he doesn't want these things that there is something wrong with me and that in itself is wrong.

Thanks roseviolet your post touched my heart.

I was raised Catholic, I dabbled in Wicca for a while, attended a Methodist church and have never felt right in anything until Heritage Baptist.

They just seem at peace, joyful, content, caring, good people. I mean some of the women at this church don't wear pants. Others do. Some home school their kids others are in public school. I mean every church has it's fanatics but this church speaks to me. I can't explain it. I've always been searching and right now this feels like home. I'm not sure if it will be home forever but right now it feels right. Not going to make Mr. Pugs happy feels wrong.

Gotta get back to work,

Pugs
roseviolet
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ Jan 21 2009, 01:07 PM) *
I guess I feel that because he doesn't want these things that there is something wrong with me and that in itself is wrong.


You're definitely not "wrong". People have different spiritual needs. That's all.

QUOTE
I was raised Catholic, I dabbled in Wicca for a while, attended a Methodist church and have never felt right in anything until Heritage Baptist.


This is very interesting. In your previous posts, Mr. Pugs seemed to think that your interest in religion & spirituality was something new. In reality it sounds like you've been looking for a spiritual home for a while now. Your search may not have been urgent but it was there. Now you've found a church family - no easy task! I'm just sorry to hear that it's bittersweet.

I can understand that yearning for a more spiritual connection in one's life. I've been there before. I didn't quite know what it was I was longing for until I started going to therapy. But that's a whole new can of worms!


QUOTE
Not going to make Mr. Pugs happy feels wrong.


Well, I can't help but agree with you there. Now, if the core beliefs of this denomination do not match your own beliefs, then I can understand why someone might encourage you to keep looking. But that doesn't seem to be the reason for his hesitancy.

QUOTE
Thanks roseviolet your post touched my heart.


Glad I could help ... although I doubt this follow-up post has been quite as helpful! smile.gif Best of luck. You'll definitely be in my thoughts.
LustfullyPink
My first post in a year is going into a religion oriented thread. It's funny, because it's something I very rarely talk about.

I was raised on the rhinestone stud of the silver belt buckle of the bible belt (otherwise known as Central Oklahoma), so i've obviously been around my fair share of the Christian faith. My parents never spoke of religion in our home, but I was pressured by Grandparents and friends to go to church every Sunday, Wednesday and holiday. I obliged because at the time I was the greatest of people pleasers, but after awhile, I got tired of being told I was going to burn in hell if I didn't beg forgiveness for every mistake I made. Eventually I found ways to wiggle my way out of going with my friends families, and eventually they stopped pestering me to go with them.

Sadly, I can't share who I really am with my best friend because she will disapprove of the life I have chosen to lead. I know that MANY of you will say that having to lie to your best friend means you're no friend at all, but when she's not being a religious zealot, she's wonderful. But, over the years, we've grown apart, because there are more and more aspects of my life I can't tell her about, simply because she will ridicule me, and thump me in the head with her bible, drag me to her church, and attempt to pray out the demons. I know this must sound awfully confusing to you all... For example, she has no idea that I have sex or drink, and if she confronts me with these things, then I have to tell her something else. Trust me, I've tried telling her the truth for things much less 'demonizing' than sex.

Around my senior year of high school, I pulled away as best I could from that community. At the same time, my sister declared that she was an Atheist. That gave me the strength to pull back and rethink what I believe also. I researched many religions, scientology, Universal Unitarianism, Tao and Bhuddism to name a few. While I was dabbling in all these religions, I realized that most of them had a few common things: God(s)/Goddess(es), Special Meeting times/places, and their own version of 'The Golden Rule' (Treat others as you would like to be treated.)

That realization in itself is what has brought me to the worldview and 'religion' I have today. I believe there is one entity (Be it gods, goddesses, life force, or something else) that holds us all together and keeps us as one. As long as I take time to address that entity, through speaking with it, and personal meditation, then I am in touch with it. I understand it, and it understands me. As long as I treat others and I would like to be treated, then I am in balance with this entity, because in the end, I believe that keeping balance, is what will give us ultimate happiness, and with that, ultimate peace.

I know that my way of thinking is unconventional, to say the least, but it's what I've got for right now. No way do I believe i've got all the answers. I'm still afraid of death. I'm scared because I don't know what comes after, but I believe that if I keep on doing my share to keep the energy in balace, then the fear will go away and I will have peace.

Wow. Feels good to get that out there. tongue.gif

thirteen
My belief is that we are all connected and have a responsibility to help each other when possible-- it is inescapable. Buddhism is of great interest to me-- it imparts such a calm and forgiving attitude-- but I never say that there is one path for everyone. The most important thing is to live your life with integrity, to take care of yourself (first) and then others, to learn and evolve...no matter what your faith may be.

What I find so absolutely depressing & shocking about our world is that people fight and kill in the name of God. NO Higher Power would ever, EVER condone hatred, violence & bloodshed! I know it, and feel this truth right in the centre of my soul-- the place where God lives.

I believe in reincarnation, and have felt the power of it all my life-- especially when out in Nature & looking at the stars. My first thoughts of previous lives came when I was a toddler. My parents never brought up the subject, since they are close-minded people, very ignorant and also cruel.

My mum was insistent that her children be Christians, but I just could not accept it-- it did not feel like my path! She still tries to convert me, but it isn't happening.

I remember several events from past lives very clearly & they are usually warm and comforting memories, but I try to embrace even the frightening ones because they have a great deal to teach me!
angie_21
I don't believe in anything. I don't specifically disbelieve either, though. Usually I just think it's pretty irrelevant. I live my life the way I want, and try to do good things, and it shouldn't be affected by the exisitence or nonexistence or a god or heaven or other spiritual world. People should be nice to eachother because we are all human and all deserve happiness, and people should be responsible and try to keep the world a beautiful and healthy place because it's the only world we have. Not because god said so or because we are afraid of death or going to hell.
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